Karen, I'm going to begin by assuming that your financial situation is in order, that you have the resources available to purchase a home, that your credit is in good shape and so forth. Starting from that assumption, let me say that Ashland is a value in my opinion for many reasons. Ashland has retained it's small town character, despite the growth of tourism and traffic on the south shore of Lake Superior. Prices for food, clothing and durable goods are still surprisingly low compared to urban areas within 350 miles such as Duluth, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Madison. Ashland is an ore-dock town that has its origins in the lumber and mining industries and the town has never fully appreciated or taken advantage of its Lake Superior frontage and views. I think Ashland and surrounding towns like Washburn will eventually take off and become attractive tourist destinations. That will bring along with it progress and change, including higher housing prices. In the meantime, I think you should take a second look at Ashland, Washburn and the surrounding area. Home prices are very affordable and there is plenty of inventory to choose from. The air and water quality is good and there's a strong area commitment to environmentalism and wilderness preservation. On the downside, if you are an urban dweller now, you might find the distance from big-city amenities can be a disadvantage (Duluth-Superior is an hour away). I sell real estate in the area and have been a property owner there for over twenty years. I hope you find this information helpful in making your decision.